Philadelphia 76ers Training Camp Profile: Darius Morris

darius morris

Howard Smith – USA Today Sports

When the Los Angeles Lakers declined to re-sign Darius Morris, it was an opportunity for the Philadelphia 76ers to add depth to their backcourt. Morris was a second round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft after two years at the University of Michigan. He left Michigan after his sophomore season where he averaged 15 points, four rebounds and 6.7 assists.

Morris’ rookie year left much to be desired because of a lack of playing time, but due to injuries last season Morris made 17 starts, including two in the postseason. His numbers during the regular season weren’t great — 14 minutes, four points, 38.8 percent shooting — but in the playoffs Morris elevated his game to 10.5 points and three assists while shooting 45.7 percent from the field.

While the Lakers decided it was best to go in a different direction heading into the 2013 season, this was the perfect match for the Sixers. If you haven’t noticed general manager Sam Hinkie has brought in all young guys with something to prove this season in hopes that they will develop into something. Plus new head coach Brett Brown is familiar with what Morris is capable of because he did has damage in the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs, the team Brown was an assistant coach for last season.

Morris is only 22 but will serve as the experienced backup point guard behind rookie Michael Carter-Williams this season. He will form an exciting backcourt off the bench with Tony Wroten and will be responsible for protecting the ball and distributing to his teammates in the second unit. He needs a good preseason to hold off Vander Blue and Khalif Wyatt, but as of now he still has the upper hand because of experience and his ability to play defense.

If all goes to plan Morris should see heavy minutes as the second or third guy off the bench for the Sixers.

Zach Slotter is a contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @zslot6, Like his Facebook page and add him on Google

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